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The Mius-Front was a heavily fortified German defensive line along the Mius River in the Donbass region of the Soviet Union and Ukraine during World War II.

It was created by the Germans in October 1941, under direction of General Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist. By the summer of 1943, the Mius-Front consisted of three defense lines with a total depth of 40–50 kilometres (25–31 mi).

The main line of defense started off the Taganrog Bay coast of the Sea of Azov, to the east of the city Taganrog, then ran along the Mius River, which gave its name to the line.

The depth of the line of fortifications reached up to 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) in places. The defense area involved some 800 Russian and Ukrainian settlements located within the line's long zone.

In order to build the fortification, rails from local mines, and wood taken from local homes and building was used. 

Defense

The line was defended from pillboxes and bunkers, machine gun nests, and mobile artillery positions. The line also contained mine fields, trenches, tank traps, and barbed wire. The depth of the minefields zone was at least 200 metres (660 ft), and backed up by 20–30 pillboxes or bunkers per square kilometre (52–78/sq mi).

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Battles

Soviet troops twice tried to break through this line, first from December 1941 to July 1942, and then from February to August 1942.

By the summer of 1943, the Mius-Front consisted of three defense lines.

The Soviets finally succeeded in August 1943 during the Donbass Strategic Offensive, when troops of the Soviet Southern Front broke through it near the village of Kuybyshevo in Rostov Oblast.

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Photographic Archives

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